The Asian Games

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The Asian Games :

The main purpose of the Olympic and Asian Games is to encourage young athletes and also to establish friendship, understanding, mutual co-operation and peace and harmony among the countries of the world.

The history of the Asian Games dates back to the year 1934. The first series of the Western Asiatic Games was held in New Delhi. The teams to this series were Afghanistan, Ceylon and Palestine besides India the host. The Games proved to be a success. Palestine was allotted the second Western Asiatic Games to be held at Tel Aviv in 1938. But the Games were abandoned due to the outbreak of thundering clouds of war. The concept of West Asiatic Games limited to the countries of the West Asia. There arose an idea of expansion. The sports enthusiasts wanted to envelop the whole of Asia into a wide spectrum of what is known as the Asian Games. The credit must go to the Tri-murthies (Three idols) viz Maharaja Yadvinder Singh – Paliala, Pandit Nehru and Professor Sondhi. These three persons drew up a plan to have Asian Games on the Olympic model in 1947.

In 1949 Asian Games Committee was formed and its constitution framed. It was endorsed by Burma, Iran, India, Philippines and Pakistan. The Maharaja of Patiala was elected as President while Professor Sondhi became its secretary cum treasurer. It was due to the untiring efforts of Mr. Anthony de Mellow that the National Stadium was given a face lift and the foundation of Asian Games firmly laid.

The Federation took a decision that the Asia Games would follow the Olympic pattern. The host nation would decide holding of optional games and events provided at least four countries participated in each of them. The committee also adopted the motto EVER ONWARD. The emblem would be the full rising Sun and eleven rings.

The first Asian Games were hosted by India in the National Stadium - New Delhi. The President Dr. Rajendra Prasad opened the Games on March 4 - 1951. It came to an end on March 11 - 1951. The Games were a grand success. There prevailed the sporting spirit. Therefore Pandit Nehru said - Play the games in the spirit of Games.

So far 14 Asian Games have been held out of these 14 games, 4 games were held in Bangkok (1966, 70, 78 and 98). The 14th Games were held in Pusan - South Korea. China won 150 gold medals to top the Asian Games for the sixth straight time. South Korea stood second with 96 gold medals, Japan stood third with 44 gold medals. What about our country of 102 crores people?

India stood eighth with 10 gold medals. Even in the Asian Games our performance is very, very bad indeed. The reason for this sorry state of affairs is everybody’s guess. The 15th Asian Games will be held at Doha - Qutar in 2006.

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